Matthias Holweg

American Standard Companies Professor of Operations Management

Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street


Matthias' areas of expertise include process improvement, digital operations, and leading digital transformations within organisations.

At Oxford Saïd, he oversees the Technology and Operations Management and Leading Digital Transformation course offerings , and is the Director of the Oxford Artificial Intelligence Programme. He also is a member of the School Board.

Matthias is an industrial engineer by training, and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Prior to joining Oxford he was on the faculty of the University of Cambridge and a Sloan Industry Center Fellow at MIT’s Engineering Systems Division.


His research focuses on how organisations generate and sustain process improvements, and how digital technologies can support these efforts.

He is widely known for his research into the evolution and adaption of Lean Six Sigma process improvement methodologies as they are being applied across manufacturing, service, office and public sector contexts. His award-winning papers on the genealogy of lean production and the evolution of lean thinking philosophy are amongst the most widely cited works in the field. Together with John Bicheno, he is also co-author of 'The Lean Toolbox', a practitioner guide to lean transformation that has sold more than 100,000 copies across five editions and is available in English, Danish, Swedish and Chinese.

His recent work focuses on leading digital transformations within organisations, with a particular focus on machine learning and additive manufacturing (3D printing). Recent studies have investigated the economics of additive manufacturing, and the application of machine learning to supply chain planning, in order to determine how to use this set of new technologies to generate competitive advantage. He is particularly interested in identifying the role that digital technologies will play in supporting process improvement, and how processes can be reengineered in the light of these novel digital capabilities.


‘Lean 4.0’: How can digital technologies support lean practices?(opens in new window)

  • Journal article
  • International Journal of Production Economics
  • Fabiana Dafne Cifone,
  • Kai Hoberg,
  • Matthias Holweg,
  • Alberto Portioli Staudacher
Technology and Operations Management

Commentaries on “The Lenses of Lean”(opens in new window)

  • Journal article
  • Journal of Operations Management
  • Michael A Cusumano,
  • Matthias Holweg,
  • Josh Howell,
  • Torbjørn Netland,
  • Rachna Shah,
  • John Shook,
  • Peter Ward,
  • James Womack
Technology and Operations Management

We need to relocate ICU patients out of COVID-19 hotspots(opens in new window)

  • Journal article
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Rodolfo Catena
Technology and Operations Management
  • Jan Holmström,
  • Matthias Holweg,
  • Benn Lawson,
  • Frits K Pil,
  • Stephan M Wagner
Technology and Operations Management

On the economics of additive manufacturing: experimental findings(opens in new window)

  • Journal article
  • Journal of Operations Management
  • M Baumers,
  • Matthias Holweg
Technology and Operations Management
See more publications


The reputational risks of AI 
California Management Review – Insights  |  January 2022 
M Holweg, R Younger and Y Wen

capAI - A procedure for conducting conformity assessment of AI systems in line with the EU Artificial Intelligence Act 
SSRN  |  March 2022 
F Luciano, M Holweg, M Taddeo, J Amaya Silva, J Mökander and Y Wen


Matthias engages widely with industry and government.

The main thrust of Matthias’s work has been on questions that are important to not only to theory, but also to practice and policy.

Matthias works closely with executives at companies, both in terms of research and executive education. He has worked with manufacturing firms all over the world to identify best practices, and has been part of MIT’s global benchmarking studies of automotive assembly practices.

The automotive industry has been a natural context for his work, but more recently he has been working with public and private sector service firms to understand the necessary adaption of manufacturing best practices to non-manufacturing settings. Matthias takes an active role in industrial policy, especially with regard to the UK automotive industry. He was the only academic member selected for the New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team, which brought together the CEOs of the UK’s major automotive firms to advise HM Government on how to sustain and improve the automotive industry in the UK. For this, Matthias analysed the competitive status of the UK automotive industry, which contributed to the Automotive Council UK being established in 2009 and has been in operation ever since. Matthias remains actively engaged with the Supply Chain Group of the Automotive Council, and he has contributed research reports on the UK’s automotive supply chain.

Matthias is an Associate Editor at the Journal of Operations Management, and regularly appears on BBC News and the Today Programme to provide commentary on automotive industry issues.


At Oxford SaÏd, Matthias leads the core Technology and Operations Management curriculum on the MBA and Executive MBA, and together with Michael Smets, offers the Leading Digital Transformation core+ course on the MBA. He also offers electives in the areas of Machine Learning for Business and Lean Six Sigma.

Together with Jane Davies, Arnoud De Meyer, Benn Lawson and Roger W. Schmenner, he is co-author of ‘Process Theory: The Principles of Operations Management’, which is the primary text used in the core Operations Management courses at both Oxford and Cambridge.

In recent years Matthias has taught:

  • Technology and Operations Management (MBA and EMBA core)
  • Leading Digital Transformation (MBA core+)
  • Machine Learning for Business (MBA elective)
  • Lean Six Sigma (MBA and EMBA elective)
  • Supply Chain Management (MBA elective)

Social media

Get the latest news and updates from Matthias on social media. 

Oxford Answers

Thought-leadership and insights for business leaders written by our Faculty and Associate Fellows.

View articles by Matthias.

  • ""